Monday, 6 April 2009

Grubbing About and a Dry Bath

While I was preparing a container for some new strawberry plants I found these grubs, larvae, in the old compost. I put them in a plant saucer with a 5p coin for size comparison. The 5p coin is about 18mm across.

Grubs - Larvae

Closer look. Not brilliant as it is a small crop. I was still using the 70-200mm lens which does not have a macro facility. Waiting patiently for a macro attachment for it.

Grub - Larva

If anyone can give a positive identification I will be very grateful.

Many thanks to Greenfingers (Beyond the Human Eye & Cabinet of Curiosities) for identifying the grubs of the Vine Weevil for me. The grubs can be a real problem for some potted plants and eventually kill them. Further information and some control measures can be found on the RHS site.

A Bath Without Water

I kept muttering things about local motorists scuffing up the entrance to my drive but in reality it is actually a bath. As the gravel has loosened over the years it has made an ideal site for the local Sparrows to have their dust baths.

Sparrow Dust Bath

This part of the drive is covered with bare circles where the Sparrows have been doing what Sparrows have to do.


  1. No idea what the grubs are John, but that's a great shot of the Sparrow taking a dust bath.

  2. I'm pretty sure the grubs are the larvae of vine weevils. They're notorious pests of plants grown in pots. I used to grow a lot of auriculas and it was a real struggle to prevent these pests from devouring their roots. Cyclamen growers have the same problem, and I guess they go for strawberries too. Lovely shot of the sparrow...

  3. Holdingmoments: Thanks for the comment. It had been bathing a while but flew off when it saw me so I only got the one shot.

    Greenfingers: Brilliant! Got it in one. I had a look on the RHS site and strawberries are on the list of the vine weevils likes and the grubs match their pictures. Now I can go treat all my containers. The batch I photographed will be inside the nearest Robin as I left them out for him.

  4. Lovely photo of the Sparrow, it was really enjoying the bath.

  5. ShySongbird: They usually bathe there in groups on hot Summers days, not often seen on cooler days like yesterday.

  6. Dust baths! I miss seeing that -- in an old house we looked out onto a fairly secluded spot (for London) which was used for parking, and little groups of sparrows would use the dusty floor for baths quite regularly during the summer.

    We have a bird bath now, and the birds have only just started using it in the last couple of weeks (mostly robins and great tits, although goldfinches and greenfinches have been drinking from it as well). They're so funny when they have a bath, they really get stuck in!

  7. felinity: Apart from the sparrows which sometimes use a shallow concrete bird bath in the front garden I've never seen any other small bird bathe. I think the one I have in the back garden is too deep. I'll have to try a shallower one and see if that will suit them better.

  8. Ours is very shallow, and it's also on a slight tilt which I think the birds like (it's probably about 1.25 inches at the deep end, and half an inch at the shallow end). We put it in the garden last year and they all ignored it, but this year they've really started to enjoy it. I hope you can get your birds using a bath in your garden, it's brilliant to watch.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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